Coalition warns USPS alcohol delivery ‘not safe’

9th February, 2021 by Owen Bellwood

A coalition of trade bodies has written to Congress in opposition of a bill that allows the United States Postal Service to ship alcoholic drinks as it is “not safe or responsible”.

Proposed legislation would allow the US Postal Service to deliver alcoholic drinks

The letter is in opposition to elements of the United States Postal Service Shipping Equity Act, and has been signed by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA), American Beverage Licensees (ABL), American Distilled Spirits Alliance (ADSA) and National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA).

Introduced by representative Jackie Speier, the bill aims to address the current financial needs of the US Postal Service (USPS). However, the coalition of trade bodies warned that if the proposed legislation passes, lawmakers will be ‘potentially substituting one budgetary shortfall for another’.

Michelle Korsmo, WSWA president and CEO, said: “Proposed legislation to allow the US Postal Service to handle beverage alcohol is simply not a safe or responsible solution to answer the current significant needs of the USPS.

“Allowing the USPS to ship beverage alcohol would compromise the work of policy makers across America who work hard to control underage access to alcohol and keep moderate levels of consumption part of safe and healthy communities.

“Current regulations strike a good balance and have provided more than 85 years of effective state-based alcohol regulation and efficient taxation.”

According to the proposed legislation, the USPS would be permitted to mail alcoholic beverages in accordance with the delivery requirements otherwise applicable to a private courier.

Under the regulations, the USPS would have to ensure any alcoholic drinks were delivered to an authorised agent or an addressee at least 21 years of age. The postal service must also prohibit the resale of such alcoholic beverages for a commercial purpose, and must ensure any mailing of alcoholic drinks is not in violation of any other laws or regulations.

In its letter opposing the new measures, the coalition said: “The current system of alcohol regulation ensures the effective and reliable collection of state and local sales and excise taxes.

“The alcohol industry collectively contributes over US$20 billion in annual tax revenue to state and local governments via sales and excise taxes on beverage alcohol.

“Past legislation has failed to explicitly address these important tax concerns and risks creating a dynamic where out-of-state retailers and sellers might forego or neglect the remittance of these taxes, thereby creating holes in state and local government budgets that would go unfilled.”

6 Responses to “Coalition warns USPS alcohol delivery ‘not safe’”

  1. Steven says:

    Gee, I wonder who is funding these organizations. Its more about control and money. UPS & FEDEx rarely get real signatures most of the time its the driver, never has any of our customers or myself for that matter ever had my ID checked for being over 21 and they even leave the packages outside and often deny it. Even when supported by surveillance. Why would having USPS follow the same rules be bad they might actually follow the rules. I have seen better handing of alcohol delivery from retailers and small third party companies since the start of covid. These providers have actually scanned my Drivers License at deliver to make sure it went to the correct person and address and that they were over 21. Seems to me someone is worried about their profits not honest service for their fees.

    • RICK says:

      Steven, I’ve mailed alcohol via the mail and my daughter has the same to me. They did a great job not breaking it and not leaving it on my porch. I’ve always thought alcohol is over regulated via shipping. For an ordinary citizen to ship wine You need to ship through a middleman which seriously jacks the price up. So in other words it is always about the money.

  2. George says:

    This article could easily be called “Greedy Middle Men Get Together to Lobby for the Ability to Continue to Live Parasitically Off of Small/Med Businesses”

  3. NICK says:

    more corruption from the likes of SWS/Glazier protecting their racket and prohibition-era laws

  4. Wholesalers and distributers see a potential loss income and will throw their money behind any legislation that threatens their livelihood. Ask any producer that would like to ship directly to a consumer what they would they would prefer, and it is anything that makes connecting to the consumer easily. This response further shows how corrupt the three tier system is.

  5. Tyler says:

    This just in: trade and lobby groups with multi-billion-dollar interests in preserving a three-tier system don’t want anybody bypassing the multibillion-dollar three-tier system.

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